Medicare requires that a patient be HOMEBOUND AND HAVE A SKILLED NEED to be covered under Medicare for home care nursing and/or therapy needs.
A patient is considered "Homebound" under Medicare if the patient cannot leave home without "considerable and taxing effort". Homebound does NOT meant that a patient has to be "bed bound" to qualify.
Most patients have an injury or illness that makes it difficult to leave the home.
For example, if the patient:
1. Requires the aid of supportive devices (wheelchair/walker)
2. Requires the use of special transpiration
3. Needs the assistance of another person
4. Has a condition that leaving the home is medically contraindicated
5. Symptoms of the disease process (such as pain, SOB or confusion) worsen when leaving the home.
A patient may leave the home for a medical absence such as doctor's appointment, medical treatment or for receiving therapeutic or psycho social treatment and still be considered homebound.
The patient may also leave home for non-medical absences if the absence is "infrequent and short in duration". Examples could include: attending a religious service, a trip to the barber/beauty salon, family event or a walk around the block.
Next Blog: What does Skilled Need mean?